APRIL  2004



Winter Shortwave Festival 

SWL Survey

Annual Meeting Agenda


NASB Display at 2004 Winterfest

Photo by Gary McAvin



NASB Exhibit Moves on... to Winter Shortwave Festival


The second part of our three-part NASB publicity campaign took place March 12-13 in Kulpsville, Pennsylvania -- just north of Philadelphia.  This was the site of the 17th annual Shortwave Listeners Winterfest, which is the largest gathering of shortwave listeners in North America each year.  About 220 persons from nearly 30 states and several foreign countries attended the event, where NASB displayed our five-panel exhibit (on loan from WSHB) showing photos of member stations and associates as well. The purpose of the publicity campaign is to promote the NASB and its members among the shortwave listening audience in our three primary target areas -- Latin America, North America and Europe.


The same NASB exhibit travelled to Tizayuca, Mexico last August for the first part of the publicity campaign at the Mexican National Shortwave Listeners Meeting.  This time, we had even more participation and an even larger NASB display area, which occupied a full corner of the exhibit room.  In addition to the NASB exhibit itself, member World Christian Broadcasting  brought a very impressive self-standing exhibit depicting its station KNLS in Alaska.  Member station WMLK, which is located in Pennsylvania just about an hour from the Festival site, had a table with brochures and a large TV which constantly played a two-hour video about the Assemblies of Yahweh and its shortwave station.  And NASB member Adventist World Radio occupied another table, with publicity materials and sample QSL albums from AWR International Relations Coordinator Adrian Peterson's vast collection.  At the NASB exhibit, we distributed program schedules, brochures and publicity materials from many of our member stations who could not attend personally, but sent the items in advance.


The Shortwave Winterfest began bright and early on Friday, March 12.  In the large exhibit room, known as the Stockholm Room, participants could visit the displays of NASB, a Finnish DX group, Radio Japan, the North American Shortwave Association (NASWA), displays of old-time shortwave radio receivers, a satellite receiver demonstration, and a computer with WiNRADIO software installed which picked up special DRM digital shortwave broadcasts beamed to the Winterfest from Bonaire, Sackville, Sines and even Kuwait.  Other displays featured Monitoring Times magazine, the Canadian International DX Club, a JavoRadio display, an amateur radio special events station, and Sheldon Harvey's Radio HF shortwave store from Montreal, with a variety of shortwave receivers, accessories and publications.


In an adjacent room, called the Oslo Room, presentations and seminars went on all day long. Mark Phillips began the day with a seminar on digital broadcasting, with explanations of IBOC, DAB and DRM.  George Zeller presented a seminar on pirate and clandestine broadcasting.  Then came the NASB presentation.  After some general information about our Association from NASB President Jeff White, AWR's Adrian Peterson presented a fascinating half-hour multimedia show about the history of shortwave broadcasting in the United States from its beginning until 1945.  Afterwards, the representatives of other NASB member and associate member stations each gave a brief profile of their station and current and future plans.  The speakers included Allen Graham of HCJB, Jeff White of WRMI, Andy Baker of World Christian Broadcasting/KNLS, Gary McAvin of WMLK, Allen Weiner of WBCQ and Dan Robinson of the Voice of America/IBB.  We also mentioned the member stations that were not present in Kulpsville.


After lunch, the activities continued with a session on trunking systems and scanning equipment, another on satellite DXing, and a talk by NASWA's Joe Buch about Broadband over Power Lines (BPL).  This overview of the biggest threat to shortwave listening included a videotape made at several locations illustrating the interference potential of this new technology, and a propaganda film made by one of the companies pushing BPL.  Joe also explained the latest on FCC actions and told listeners how they could get involved in lobbying against BPL.


On Friday evening, exams were offered for those who wanted to try to get an amateur radio license or upgrade.  Seminars dealt with mediumwave and longwave DXing.  And the night ended with "The Listening Lounge," presented by two excellent radio producers who moderated an aural exploration of great radio.  They played favorites from their sound archives, including a lot of shortwave oriented pieces.  One of the most popular segments was about the time signal stations WWV and WWVH, with historic recordings, photographs and some rare WWV "jingles."  This session went on until about 2:00 a.m.


 On Saturday, March 13, the exhibit room was again open all day, as new people showed up throughout the day.  A seminar on classic shortwave receivers began the day, followed by the popular Broadcasters Forum, moderated by Kim Elliott of the VOA.  During the first part of this session, Alan Heil -- former deputy director of the VOA -- gave a very interesting talk about the history of the Voice and his own perspectives on the "fragmentation" of the VOA into so many different entities (i.e. RFE/RL, Radio and TV Marti, Radio Free Asia, Radio Sawa, Radio Farda, etc.).  He lamented, for example, the fact that in-depth news programming is no longer available to Arabic listeners in the Middle East, having been replaced by pop music and headline news.  Mr. Heil's new book, "Voice of America:  A History," was available in the exhibit room, where he gladly autographed copies. 


The rest of the Broadcasters Forum was a question-and-answer session for all of the shortwave broadcasters who were present, which were all of the NASB representatives, plus Frans Vossen of the English service of Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal from Belgium.  The station reps fielded a variety of questions dealing with BPL, DRM and future prospects for shortwave radio, among other topics.


After a pizza buffet lunch, Dr. Harold Cones talked about his 15 years of research and the four books he has written about the legendary American radio manufacturer Zenith Radio Corporation.  Then Greg Majewski explained how to make effective shortwave listening antennas if you don't have much space.


The Saturday evening banquet activities included an award presentation to Joe Buch for his work in favor of shortwave listeners by opposing BPL technology and a humorous recollection by Harold Cones of the very first SWL Winterfest 17 years ago, which was attended by just 27 people.  The keynote speaker was NASB President Jeff White, who talked about his 32 years of experiences as a shortwave listener and broadcaster, and about the fascination of shortwave broadcasting.  He ended by quoting Swiss Radio International's Bob Zannotti, who said the following at a shortwave listeners convention in California in 1980: 


"There's no broadcasting like international broadcasting.  You feel as though in a way you're wearing the hat of a delegate to the U.N.  You feel like a diplomat.  You feel like a politician.  You feel like an investigative journalist.  You feel like a writer.  It's serious broadcasting.  It's broadcast journalism, I think, at its finest.  You meet people.  You're sent abroad.  I've been all over the world.  I've met people -- it would sound like I was name-dropping if I went down the list.  You have to have an international background.  You have to be interested in languages, because you can't survive without languages.  You can't survive without a knowledge of other countries, without a sympathy for other countries and other cultures -- to be open-minded.  It's a devotion, it's a profession, it's a dedication, it's a way of life, really -- international broadcasting -- and I wouldn't trade it in for anything."


Apart from the photo of the NASB exhibit that is included in this article, other photos of the SWL Winterfest can be found at the following Internet sites:


Note:  The third part of the NASB publicity campaign is slated to be Europe.  We expected to attend the 2004 Conference of the European DX Council (EDXC).  However, the EDXC is going through a period of reorganization at the moment, and it appears as though there may not be an EDXC Conference this year.  Therefore, we may have to wait until 2005 to carry out the last part of the campaign.



Odds & Ends from the SWL Winterfest


HCJB ENGLISH CONTINUES - As you may remember, HCJB's evening English service to North America was eliminated last year.  But the missionary station from Quito, Ecuador continues to broadcast an English transmission to the Americas every day from 1100-1330 UTC on 15115 kHz.  Programs include the legendary "Morning in the Mountains" at 1200-1230 UTC weekdays and HCJB's excellent program for shortwave listeners, the "DX Partyline," at 1230-1300 UTC Saturday.  At the NASB exhibit in Kulpsville, HCJB distributed copies of its beginner's publication, "An Introduction to Shortwave Radio,” which the DX Partyline has been sending to listeners for many years now.




NEW AUDIO EDITING SOFTWARE - Many radio journalists and producers have used the popular Cool Edit software for production and editing.  Recently, Adobe bought out the owner of Cool Edit software and eliminated the inexpensive version of Cool Edit, leaving only Cool Edit Pro, which is quite expensive and perhaps too complicated for simple production and editing.  But Allen Graham of HCJB tells us that a new audio editing software is available totally free of charge.  It's called Audacity, and can be downloaded at  With Audacity, you can record sounds, play sounds, import and export WAV, AIFF, Ogg Vorbis, MP3 files and more. Use it to edit sounds using Cut, Copy and Paste, mix tracks together, or apply effects to your recordings.



NEWS FROM KNLS - KNLS in Alaska continues --when the local weather permits -- with its project to add a second 100-kilowatt transmitter and antenna in Anchor Point, near the city of Homer.   Andy Baker, Vice President for Development of World Christian Broadcasting, reported that they are currently raising funds for the last payment on the transmitter.  And WCB is already looking forward to its next big project:  building a shortwave station in Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa.  KNLS now has websites in English, Russian and Chinese, and plans to begin a new one in Arabic when the Madagascar station goes on air. 


Andy also told the story of American missionary Gracia Burnham, who was held captive in the Philippines for over a year by guerrillas affiliated with Al Qaeda.  She was freed during a rescue operation that unfortunately resulted in the death of her husband Martin.  In her book, In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Mrs. Burnham tells about having access to a shortwave radio while she and her husband were captives.  One day they were trying to hear the Voice of America, but picked up KNLS from Alaska.  Andy Baker himself was reading a passage from Romans in the Bible.


"Martin and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes," said Burnham.  "The speaker then began to lead in prayer - for people who were oppressed, people on the West Bank and in Afghanistan, and people who were being treated wrongly because of their faith in Christ.  It seemed like he was praying for us.  We were overwhelmed."  Gracia Burnham will be speaking at a World Christian Broadcasting fundraising dinner on May 11, 2004 in Franklin, Tennessee.


A copy of World Christian Broadcasting's Newsletter is available by sending an e-mail request to, or by regular mail to Newsletter Editor, World Christian Broadcasting, 605 Bradley Court, Franklin, TN 37067.




GET INVOLVED WITH THE FIGHT AGAINST BPL - The North American Shortwave Association (NASWA) provides the following Internet links for those interested in speaking out against Broadband Power Line interference to shortwave broadcasts. 


To download the 38-page FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM):


To access the FCC Electronic Filing System (to send comments):


And to see what others have written:


LISTEN TO SHORTWAVE IN YOUR CAR - Sony is now making very nice digital-readout car radios with shortwave coverage.  Unfortunately, they are not generally available in the United States, as far as we know.  A lot of people in the U.S. have bought them by mail order from a store called Jacky's in the United Arab Emirates.  Now they are also available by mail order from The Shortwave Store in Whitby, Ontario, Canada.  One model is available for $229.95 (U.S. dollars), with a $20 discount for those who mention the SWL Fest.  Check out their web site at: Shortwave Store also sells the WINRADIO shortwave receiver for your PC.


VOICE OF AMERICA:  A HISTORY is the title of a new (July 2003) book by Alan L. Heil. Jr., who worked for the VOA from 1962 until he retired in 1998.  He held various positions, including foreign correspondent, chief of news and current affairs, and deputy director of programs. 


The Voice of America is the nation's largest publicly-funded broadcasting network, reaching more than 90 million people worldwide in over 50 languages.  Since it first went on the air as a regional wartime enterprise in February 1942, VOA has undergone a spectacular transformation, and it now employs scores of reporters worldwide and broadcasts around the clock every day of the year, reaching listeners in the four-fifths of the world still denied  completely free press.  Alan Heil, former deputy director of VOA, chronicles this remarkable transformation from a fledgling shortwave propaganda organ during World War II to a global multimedia giant encompassing radio, the Internet and 1500 affiliated radio and TV stations around the globe.


Using transcripts of radio broadcasts and numerous personal anecdotes, Heil gives the reader a front-row seat to the greatest events of the past 60 years, from the Cold War and the Vietnam conflict to the Watergate and Lewinsky scandals, from Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon in 1969 to ethnic strife in the Balkans and Rwanda in the mid-1990's, and from the outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the 1980's to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.  Yet Heil also relates the story of a perennially-underfunded organization struggling against the political pressures, congressional investigations, massive reorganizations and leadership purges that have attempted to shape -- and in some instances, control -- VOA programming.  Reporting first-hand, high-quality news is a monumental task for any network, but the Voice faces obstacles unique to an organization that stands, as former director John Chancellor once observed, at "the crossroads of journalism and diplomacy."


Voice of America:  A History is 544 pages in hardback and costs $37.50.  It's available from the publisher, Columbia University Press, or on  Alan Heil was recently interviewed about his book on the Voice of the NASB.


VOICE OF THE NASB FEATURES SWL WINTERFEST - Three special editions of the Voice of the NASB were jam-packed with interviews conducted at the SWL Winterfest in Pennsylvania.  Producer Jeff White spoke with representatives of the NASB member stations who were present, as well as other persons who attended and spoke at the Fest.  The three programs were broadcast on March 20/21, March 27/28 and April 3/4.  Please note that as of March 28, the DRM version of the Voice of the NASB is now broadcast at 1230-1300 UTC Sunday on 9565 kHz to Europe from Merlin in the U.K.; and as of April 10, the analog version to North America is broadcast at 0230-0300 UTC Sunday (i.e. 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday night) on 7385 kHz to North America from WRMI in Miami.


ANARC CLUB LIST - For those who would like to send news releases and other publicity material to the major shortwave listening clubs in North America, you can find a list of the clubs and links to their individual websites at the website of the Association of North American Radio Clubs (ANARC).  It's at:






In August of last year, the NASB attended the 2003 Mexican National DX Meeting in Tizayuca, just north of Mexico City.  At that meeting, we conducted a survey of shortwave listeners who attended.  The results appeared in the September 2003 NASB Newsletter.  This year, we conducted practically the very same survey, translated into English, at the 2004 Shortwave Listeners Winterfest in Kulpsville, Pennsylvania, where listeners come from mostly throughout the United States and Canada.  Below are the results of the North American survey.  In this survey, we refer to North America as the United States and Canada.  Around 220 persons attended the meeting; 96 filled out survey forms for us.


The numbers in the left column are raw numbers.  The center column is the percentage. The right column is the percentage from the Mexican survey, for comparison purposes.  Note that for some questions, there is no percentage figure; only raw number of responses.  Not all percentages add up to 100, due to rounding.  Please note that this is a relatively small sample of very active shortwave listeners.  The analysis comments in italics are the personal comments of the survey’s author, Jeff White, and do not necessarily represent any official NASB points of view.


Do you live in:

USA?                         91                    95%                (NA)

Canada?                   02                    02%                (NA)

Other country?         02                    02%                (NA)

No answer                 01                    01%                (NA)



In what year did you begin to listen to shortwave radio?

1930-1939                 01                    01%                00%

1940-1949                 04                    04%                00%

1950-1959                 20                    21%                04%

1960-1969                 24                    25%                09%

1970-1979                 24                    25%                11%

1980-1989                 07                    07%                38%   

1990-1999                 10                    10%                19%

2000+                         05                    05%                15%

No answer                 01                    01%                06%


Obviously, a lot more shortwave listeners in North America began to listen from 1940-1970 than in Mexico.  This is because the average age of listeners in North America is much older.  See “How old are you now?” below.



How old were you when you began to listen to shortwave radio?

Less than 10             13                    14%                13%

10-19                          58                    60%                38%

20-29                          06                    06%                32%

30-39                          09                    09%                11%

40-49                          06                    06%                02%

50-59                          02                    02%                00%

No answer                 02                    02%                04%


In North America, most people began to listen to shortwave during their teens.  In Mexico, most began to listen during their teens and twenties.



How old are you now?

Less than 10             00                    00%                00%

10-19                          00                    00%                04%

20-29                          04                    04%                17%

30-39                          09                    09%                40%

40-49                          30                    31%                15%

50-59                          28                    29%                15%

60-69                          18                    19%                04%

70+                             05                    05%                02%

No answer                 02                    02%                02%


The current age of Mexican listeners is much lower than North American listeners.  The majority of Mexicans are under 40, while the majority of North Americans are over 40.



Your sex:

Male                           90                    94%                68%

Female                      05                    05%                32%

No answer                 01                    01%                00%


In North America, shortwave listeners appear to be almost exclusively male.  In Mexico, only two-thirds are male.



What is your highest educational level?

None                          00                    00%                00%

Elementary school  00                    00%                17%

High school              05                    05%                11%

Univ. or Tech Inst.    64                    67%                60%

Postgrad. (univ.)       25                    26%                13%

No answer                 02                    02%                00%


Because of the lower age, there are more Mexicans in elementary and high school at the present time.  The number of university and postgraduate students is fairly similar in both samples, and this is extremely high in comparison to the overall population, both in North America and Mexico.  So we can say that shortwave listeners are very well-educated in general.



Do you belong to a DX club?

Yes                             55                    57%                19%

No                               40                    42%                81%

No answer                 01                    01%                00%


The majority of North American listeners belong to a DX club, while less than 1 in 5 Mexicans belong to a club.



Do you consider yourself a "DXer?"

Yes                             63                    66%                66%

No                               32                    33%                32%

No answer                 01                    01%                02%


The results here were virtually identical in Mexico and North America.  Two-thirds of listeners consider themselves to be “DXers.”



Do you regularly listen to shortwave programs in:

English?                    96                 100%                 30%

Spanish?                   13                    14%                94%

Other languages?    22                    23%                17%

(Languages mentioned:  French, German, Creole, Greek, Portuguese, Urdu)


Obviously, more people who listen in English in North America, and in Spanish in Mexico.  But there is a significant percentage in North America who listen in Spanish, and in Mexico who listen in English.  In both areas, a large number who listen in other foreign languages.



During what hours (local time) do you normally listen to shortwave?

5:00-10:00 a.m.        35                    36%                (NA)

10:00 am-5:00 pm    20                    21%                (NA)

5:00 pm-12:00 mn   89                    93%                (NA)

12:00 mn-5:00 am   23                    24%                (NA)


In the Mexican survey, this question was open-ended; we did not provide the time categories.  Therefore, we can’t do a direct comparison.  However, the tendencies are clearly the same for both samples.  By far the largest listenership in both areas is from 5 pm to midnight local time, with a significant listenership in the early morning hours (5-10 am) as well.



Do you listen to shortwave:

More on weekdays than on the weekend                       20                    21%                26%

More on weekends than on weekdays                24                    25%                36%

About the same amount all days of the week    52                    54%                36%

No answer                                                                 00                    00%                02%


It would appear as though listenership to shortwave is fairly equal on all days of the week in both North America and Mexico.  There might be a bit more listening on weekends in Mexico.



About how many hours per week do you listen to shortwave radio?

Less than10              46                    48%                40%

10-19                          33                    34%                21%

20-29                          09                    09%                09%   

30-39                          02                    02%                11%

40+                             02                    02%                02%

No answer                 04                    4%                  15%


Clearly, the vast majority of listeners in both North America and Mexico listen to shortwave for less than 20 hours per week.  A slightly higher percentage of Mexicans listens for more than 20 hours per week.



What are your three favorite shortwave stations?

(NASB members are indicated in boldface.)


BBC                                        64                   

WBCQ                                   35

Radio Netherlands              31

Radio Canada Intl/CBC      24

Voice of America                15

Deutsche Welle                   12

Radio Australia                    12

WWCR                                   12

HCJB                                     07

Radio Havana Cuba           07

WHRI/WHRA                        06

Voice of Russia                    05

Radio New Zealand Intl      03

Radio Prague                       03

All India Radio                      02

Channel Africa/RSA                       02

China Radio Intl                   02

Radio Bulgaria                     02

Radio For Peace Intl           02        (station is off air since Fall 2003)

Radio Sweden                     02

Radio Taiwan Intl                 02

Voice of Greece                   02

WEWN/EWTN                      02

WRMI                                     02


+ One mention each for:  Adventist World Radio, BSKSA (Saudi Arabia), CFRX (Toronto), Kol Israel, Papua New Guinea National Broadcasting Corp., Partial India Radio (pirate station), Radio Austria Intl, Radio Exterior de España, Radio France Intl, Radio Korea Intl, Radio Slovakia Intl, Radio Táchira (Venezuela), Radio Tirana, Radio Tunis (now off air), Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal, RAI (Italy), T.I.E. Radio (pirate station), WHYB (pirate station), WNKR (pirate station) and WWV.


These are raw figures; not percentages.  Some respondents mentioned fewer than three stations; some mentioned more.  Figures were not weighted for #1, #2 and #3 listings.  By far the most listened-to station among North Americans is the BBC, which is ironic since the BBC ended its shortwave transmissions aimed at North America over a year before this survey was taken.  And it would be fair to say that almost all of these respondents listen to the BBC via shortwave, as opposed to local station rebroadcasts or the Internet, as the BBC likes to claim.  Six NASB member stations received mentions (WBCQ, WHRI, WHRA, WEWN, WRMI, AWR), plus associate members VOA and HCJB.  WBCQ is very highly rated by this group; it has a long history of attending the SWL Winterfests and of broadcasting programs that are popular among the DX hobbyists.  Former NASB member WWCR airs a lot of similar programming and is also highly-rated.  Stations rated in the top 10 by Mexican listeners which were also mentioned by North American listeners include Radio Netherlands, Radio Havana Cuba, Radio Exterior de España, BBC, China Radio International, HCJB, WRMI and Radio France International -- in that order.  One respondent in North America commented:  “HCJB was my top favorite when they had English programs,” referring to the station’s decision to eliminate most English programming to North America in mid-2003.



What is your profession?

Retired                                   17

Engineer                               11

Broadcaster/Journalist        06

No answer                             07

Owner/Manager                   05

Computer/IT Specialist       05

Consultant                            04

Sales                                      04

Government Service           03

Technician                            03

Accountant/Auditor             02

Clerical worker                     02

Professor/Teacher               02

Scientist                                 02

Student                                  02

+ One each of:  Attorney, Electronics, Car repossessor, Carpenter, Entrepreneur, Financial planner, Firefighter, Health services professional, Laborer, Musician, Operator, Pharmacist, Police officer, Printing, Prison guard, Self-employed, Sports promoter, Trade and safety trainer, Two-way service, Urban planner, Writer.


These are raw figures; not percentages.  Therefore, it is hard to compare these results directly with those from Mexico.  However, the tendency to find lots of engineers, broadcasters, journalists, technicians, teachers and students is seen in both surveys.  The main difference is the very large number of retired persons in the North American survey, due to the much higher average age of the listeners there.



What kind of shortwave receiver do you use most (brand, model)?

Grundig                                 25                   

Sony                                       25                   

Drake                                     19                   

Icom                                       16

JRC                                        08

Radio Shack/Realistic        08

Kenwood                               05

Sangean                               05

Yaesu                                                05

AOR                                       04

Ten-Tec                                 04

No answer                             03

Lowe                                      02

Palstar                                    02

+ One each of the following:  Collins, Fairhaven, “Internet,” Kaito, Magnavox, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, WiNRADIO, Zenith.


These are raw figures; not percentages.  Many people mentioned more than one receiver.  Many models were mentioned; the above figures are summaries by brand.  It is obvious that Grundig and Sony are the most popular receivers in North America, but there is also a large number of very expensive, sophisticated receivers (such as Drake, Icom, JRC, Kenwood, Yaesu, AOR, Ten-Tec, Lowe, Palstar, Collins and Fairhaven).  This is undoubtedly because (as you will see below) most of these listeners are amateur radio operators, and they have a lot of expensive receivers and/or transceivers that they also use for shortwave listening.  In the Mexican survey, the most popular brands were Sony and Radio Shack/Realistic.  In Mexico and the rest of Latin America (where most listeners are not amateur operators), very few listeners have expensive, sophisticated receivers like in North America, and there is a much larger percentage of cheap “boom-box” type radios used.  So it is important for broadcasters to deliver a very good signal to their target areas in Latin America.  North American listeners are somewhat more forgiving of poorer signals and will listen to harder-to-hear stations with their good radios and antennas.



What kind of frequency readout does your receiver have?

Digital                                     86                    90%

Analog                                   05                    05%

No answer                            05                    05%


We did not ask this question specifically on the Mexican survey, but some listeners volunteered this information when asked what kind of receiver they use.  Of those Mexican listeners who indicated, more used analog than digital readout receivers.  In North America, almost all listeners have digital readout.



What kind of antenna do you use?

Longwire/random wire        41

Dipole                                                20

Sloper                                                09

Telescopic/whip                   09

No answer                             07

Active                                     06

Vertical                                   05

Loop                                       04

Reel/wind-up                                    04

Inverted L/inverted V           03

Beam                                     02

Beverage                               02

External                                 02

+ One each of the following:  Amplified monopole, Automobile antenna, CB antenna, Hamstick, Screwdriver, “Various,” VPA Joystick Rod, Windom, Zepp


Again, these are raw figures rather than percentages.  The tendency toward longwire/random wire, dipole and telescopic/whip antennas is seen in both samples.  In Mexico, listeners are likely to connect a wire to anything and use it as an antenna, whereas in North America the listeners -- with their amateur radio backgrounds -- use all kinds of fancy, sophisticated antennas.



What type of area do you live in?

Urban                                     22                    23%                            66%

Suburban                              55                    57%                            23%

Rural                                      14                    15%                            11%

No answer                             05                    05%                            00%


The percentage of urban vs. suburban listeners is almost totally reversed in North America and Mexico.



Do you regularly listen to shortwave:

in your house?                     92                    96%                            94%

at work?                                 08                    08%                            13%

in your car?                           16                    17%                            06%

at beach or in countryside  31                    32%                            13%


Almost everyone listens to shortwave at home in both North America and Mexico.  More people listen at work in Mexico, whereas more people seem to have shortwave radios in their car in North America.  Far more North Americans appear to take their shortwave receivers to the beach or countryside with them.



What type of programs do you like to listen to on shortwave?

News                                      89                    93%                            81%

Music                                     61                    64%                            60%

Political analysis                  61                    64%                            34%

DX programs                        55                    57%                            55%

Cultural programs                54                    56%                            74%

Science and technology    50                    52%                            47%

Mailbag programs                46                    48%                            32%

History                                    35                    36%                            45%

Economy and business     23                    24%                            13%

Religious programs             18                    19%                            19%

Language courses              07                    07%                            19%

Sports                                     06                    06%                            23%

Philatelic programs             04                    04%                            13%


News is obviously the most important kind of programming for listeners in both areas, and nearly two out of three like to hear music, despite assertions by some people that shortwave is not a medium particularly suited for music.  There is a big difference between North American and Mexican listeners on political analysis; nearly two-thirds of North Americans like it as opposed to only one-third of Mexicans.  DX programs are popular with over half of both samples, so those stations without DX programs might want to take a look at that.  Cultural programs are very popular with both groups, but even more so in Mexico.  Mailbag programs were selected by nearly half of the North American listeners, and one-third of the Mexicans.  Economy and business programs seem to be more popular in North America; language courses and stamp collecting programs appear more popular in Mexico.  A big difference was in sports programming, which is liked by nearly a quarter of the Mexican audience, but only 6% of North American listeners.  Religious programming got exactly the same rating among both audiences (nearly 1 out of 5 likes it), which remains a big challenge for many NASB member stations who program almost totally religious material.



Do you have access to the Internet?

Yes                                         83                    86%                            74%   

No                                           10                    10%                            17%

No answer                             03                    03%                            09%


Slightly more SWL’s in North America have access to the Internet, but the number is pretty high in Mexico as well.



If you have access to the Internet, where do you have this access?

Home                                     79                    82%                            55%

Work                                       51                    53%                            28%

School                                   02                    02%                            02%

Another location                  08                    08%                            09%

(Locations mentioned:  Library, Hotels, Mobile phone, “Business trips“)


A lot more North Americans have access to the Internet in their homes.  Twice as many North Americans have access to the Internet at work as do Mexicans.  Very few Mexican or North American shortwave listeners have Internet access at school.  A lot of those who don’t have Internet access anywhere else go to their public library in North America; in Mexico they tend to go to a cybercafé.



Do you regularly listen to audio programs via the Internet?

Yes                                         30                    31%                            17%

No                                           63                    66%                            68%

No answer                             03                    03%                            15%


This may change in the near future as more North Americans get broadband in their homes, but at the moment less than a third listen to audio programs via Internet, and in Mexico it is even much lower.  So stations that are thinking of switching from shortwave to Internet to reach the North American audience should consider this very carefully.  For Latin America, forget it for now.



Do you regularly use e-mail?

Yes                                         80                    83%                            60%

No                                           13                    14%                            30%

No answer                             03                    03%                            11%


Most of the shortwave listeners sampled in both regions use e-mail.  Not surprisingly, the percentage is quite a bit higher in North America.



Have you written at least once to a shortwave station via regular mail?

Yes                                         74                    77%                            62%

No                                           19                    20%                            34%

No answer                             03                    04%                            04%


Most listeners have sent a postal letter to a shortwave station at one time or another, but the number is slightly higher in North America.



Have you written at least once to a shortwave station via e-mail?

Yes                                         59                    61%                            38%

No                                           31                    32%                            53%

No answer                             06                    06%                            09%


Here there is a big difference between the two samples.  While most North American listeners have sent e-mail to a shortwave station, most Mexicans have not.



Are you an amateur radio operator (with call sign and broadcast license)?

Yes                                         50                    52%                            09%

No                                           43                    45%                            89%

No answer                             03                    03%                            02%


Here is perhaps the most striking difference between the two samples.  The majority of SWL Winterfest attendees are amateur radio operators, while only 9% of Mexican DX meeting attendees are licensed hams.  I suspect that the overall percentage of shortwave listeners in North America who are also amateur radio operators is probably far less than 52%.  The Winterfest is not completely shortwave-oriented; seminars focus on many other aspects of radio and DXing as well.  And this year in particular, amateur radio license exams were offered at the Winterfest.



Have you attended other SWL Winterfests in the past?

This is the first time             24                    25%                            45%

I have been to others          68                    71%                            51%

No answer                             04                    04%                            04%


In the Mexican survey, this question read: “Have you attended other Mexican National DX Meetings...?“  In the case of both conventions, over half had attended a meeting in the past, but almost half of the Mexicans were first-time attendees, whereas only a quarter of the North American attendees were first-timers.


What is your religious belief?

Catholic                                 23                    24%                            53%

Protestant                              35                    36%                            15%

Jewish                                   05                    05%                            (NA)

Muslim                                   02                    02%                            (NA)

Other                                      09                    09%*                           09%

None                                      15                    16%                            19%

No answer                             07                    07%                            04%

*Others mentioned:  “Ethical culture,” Moravian, “Christian”


As would be expected, there were a lot more Catholic listeners than Protestants in Mexico, and a lot more Protestant listeners than Catholics in North America.  In both cases, Catholics and Protestants together made up well over half of the sample.  We did not include the Jewish and Muslim categories in the Mexican survey.  Those who chose “Other” were 9% in both surveys.  And a fairly large number (16% in North America and 19% in Mexico) have no religious belief.  Again, this presents a great challenge -- and an opportunity -- to a lot of NASB member stations and other religious shortwave broadcasters.












(tentative---subject to change)


Friday, May 7, 2004

Crowne Plaza

1489 Jefferson Davis Highway



8:15am       Coffee and Registration                                                                 


8:45am      Welcome      Jeff White NASB


8:50am      FCC Update Questions and Answer    Tom Polzin & Tom Lucey  FCC


9:00am     Implications of BPL for shortwave broadcasters    Paul Rinaldo   ARRL


9:25 am     The History of Adventist World Radio           Dr. Adrian Peterson  AWR


9:55am      Coffee Break                                                                                   


10:10am    IBB Update      Del Carson, Bill Whitacre, Dan Ferguson

                                           Marion Hales, Hal Creech     IBB


10:35am     The latest on  DRM       Mike Adams   FEBC


11:05am     Recent Audience Research Findings             Kim Elliott   IBB


11:30 am    Profile of VT Merlin Communications    Hans Johnson


12:00 pm    TDF and the DRM Commercial Committee    Michel Penneroux  TDF


12:15pm     Luncheon                                                                                       


l:45pm        NASB Business Meeting


3:45pm       NASB Board Meeting


We greatly appreciate the sponsorship by  TCI/Dielectric, Thales Broadcast and Multimedia, and  DRS  Broadcast Technology/Continental in underwriting some of the expense of this meeting.






NASB  Members:                               


Adventist World Radio         

Assemblies of Yahweh

Family Stations Inc.

Far East Broadcasting Co.                                          

Fundamental Broadcasting Network

Herald Broadcasting Syndicate                                  

La Voz de Restauracion Broadcasting, Inc.

Le Sea Broadcasting Corp.                            

Radio Miami International

Trans World Radio

Two If By Sea Broadcasting Corp.

WBCQ---The Planet

Word  Broadcasting

World Christian Broadcasting

World International Broadcasters

World Wide Catholic Radio




NASB Associate Members:

Comet North America

DRS Continental Electronics

George Jacobs & Associates

Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers

HCJB World Radio                           




Thales Broadcast and Multimedia   

VT Merlin Communications


National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters

10400 NW 240th Street, Okeechobee, Florida  34972

Ph: (863) 763-0281  Fax:  (863) 763-8867    E-mail: